2016 Diatom (Brewer-Clifton) "Hilliard Bruce Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay (Previously $35)

SKU #1550804 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

Outer quote mark Starting with the 2016 Chardonnay Hilliard Bruce, it’s a classic Chardonnay from this appellation that offers lots of citrus rind, salty minerality, spice and orange blossom aromas and flavors. Inner quote mark (8/2017)

93 points Vinous

Outer quote mark The 2016 Chardonnay Hilliard Bruce is rich and textured on the palate, with a flavor profile that leans towards the riper end of the spectrum while retaining the freshness and energy that are such Diatom signatures. (AG) Inner quote mark (9/2017)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark Freshly cut Anjou pear, crisp apple, hints of honeydew and lime skin show on the nose of this vibrant bottling by Greg Brewer. There is bouncy acidity and a fine-grained, chalky grip to the sip, delivering chilled green-melon and lime-sorbet flavors. It's tangy yet laced with stony minerality and intriguing texture. (MK) Inner quote mark (9/2017)


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Product Reviews:

By: Dejah Overby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/30/2021 | Send Email
I am steadily becoming a fan of Greg Brewer's wine style. The Hillard Bruce Vineyard Chardonnay has been a favorite of mine for cool climate, slow ripening wines and this vintage puts the stamp on my reasoning for enjoying wines from this AVA. The most attractive aroma first is the marine, saltwater quality, there is a metallic mineral aroma, more like limestone that comes across most enjoyable. Spice notes of ginger, cumin, raw almonds, hay and celery salt make an appearance. On the palate the viscosity is medium plus and mouthfeel is filling and rich but not overwhelming. The finish is medium plus and in turn refers me to having this with a nutty aged sheep's milk cheese or a dish with a cream sauce and starch. There isn't a buttery component to this wine just a rich and weighty feel that would please the palate that enjoys medium to medium plus Chardonnays.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/29/2021 | Send Email
The Hilliard-Bruce vineyard is strategically situated on a knoll overlooking the Sta. Rita Hills. This is the high point where the evening fog starts to stall out on its daily journey from the Pacific inland and return to the sea in the morning. The daily diurnal temperate swings provides perfect temperature variation for optimal grape ripeness; warm by day followed by cooling temps in the evening and early morning. The result is a wine of great complexity and enchanting aromatics. This wine was traditionally only available through the Diatom mailing list, but wine maker Greg Brewer (Wine Enthusiast winemaker of the year 2020) graced us with the opportunity to secure a good parcel. Grab this beauty while you can.

By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/15/2021 | Send Email
We tasted the Diatom wines a couple of years back with Greg Brewer, and I remember vividly how balanced they were. Trying the Hilliard Bruce today, my memory was spot on! (can't say that a lot about my memory these days) In the glass it pops with baked apple, pear, sea salt and lemon cream pie. How's that for a start! But the one thing that kept coming back to me through the whole glass was that same sense of balance. Great acidity but with a wonderful, rich texture of lemon curd and chamomile. Great long finish of baking spice and bracing minerality throughout the wine.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/15/2021 | Send Email
Fans of Brewer-Clifton and especially Melville will be enchanted by this classic Sta Rita Hills Chardonnay. Ripe apple, honeydew melon, and grilled lemon accentuate the nose. The palate is loaded with creamy rich fruit, orange peel and lingers with its full bodied finish. Those who want richness in their Chardonnay but not a heavy oak influence will be amazed by the character this wine has to offer.

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